Toddlers and preschool children have just as much need for an active lifestyle as older children and adults. You might say that your preschool child has more than enough energy – that (s)he is a whirlwind of energy from dawn to dusk. Or you might say that your young child is content to be quiet and explore his or her surroundings in a more sedentary way. Actually, both types of children benefit from gymnastics for many reasons.
For your super-charged child, gymnastics is an opportunity to expend some of that energy in a focused, more disciplined way. For your sedentary child, it’s a way to jumpstart some of that latent energy and help him or her explore and test their untapped physical limits. For both types (and for those in between) preschool gymnastic classes set a precedent for a lifetime of health and physical fitness.
Gymnastics is one of the most comprehensive organized sports available, incorporating strength, flexibility, speed, balance power, and self-discipline. Our younger classes begin by working on fine and gross motor skills. Then, as they reach the ages of 3,4, and 5, we introduce ICP (Instructional Certification Program) skills that include: listening and following directions; sequencing (moving from one activity station to the next sequentially); taking turns; and developing a respect for safety in the gym.
During these early years, students experience activities that develop strength, rhythm, body awareness and a positive self-esteem. They also acquire reading readiness skills as they relate to physical movement (colors, numbers, letters and size differentiation). We incorporate music, games, and drills for skill development, which are all important in improving locomotor movements and coordination.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of preschool gymnastics more closely.
Cognitive Skill Development
Learning gymnastic routines involves both the mind and the body with the left and right brain working in connection to improve children’s sense of body and spatial awareness, helping them notice and adapt to the environment around them.
Because gymnastics is a weight-bearing activity, it builds strong, healthy bones that will help offset signs of osteoporosis in the future and reduce the likelihood of broken bones during childhood activities.
Gymnastics helps preschool children build up their upper body, lower body, and overall core strength.
Because alignment is important in gymnastics, we introduce fun exercises that involve standing, walking, and jumping – all designed to improve your child’s coordination and agility.
Self-discipline and self-control are important skills to take forward in life. Working with others, working independently, staying focused are all components of what we work to achieve in every child.
Self-Esteem & Resilience
With every skill learned, your child’s self-esteem strengthens. Self-esteem then becomes an inner resource that your child can rely on to help them navigate the tough times and rebound from disappointments.
Gymnastics classes give children a chance to interact with peers and their coaches in a positive way. They learn a great deal about themselves and others and how they fit within their team.
Last – but certainly not least – it’s fun!
Even the youngest children in our gymnastic classes look forward to coming on a regular basis because they know that they will have a wonderful time working hard, learning new skills, celebrating successes and connecting with friends, all under the careful guidance of nurturing coaches.